A study of quality of life in primigravidae with urinary incontinence
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- Dolan, L.M., Walsh, D., Hamilton, S. et al. Int Urogynecol J (2004) 15: 160. doi:10.1007/s00192-004-1128-x
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This study aimed to establish the prevalence and effect of urinary incontinence on quality of life during pregnancy and after parturition. A prospective cohort of primigravidae was recruited. The Kings Health Questionnaire (KHQ) was self-administered antenatally (34 weeks to term) and postnatally (3 months after delivery). Four hundred ninety-two primigravidae were recruited. The prevalence of urinary incontinence was reported as: pre-pregnancy 3.5% (17/492), antenatal 35.6% (175/492), 3–5 days postpartum 13.7% (51/370) and 3 months postnatal 13.0% (47/362). Most women with urinary incontinence experienced an impact on quality of life antenatally (54.3%) and postnatally (71.1%), although those experiencing an impact usually reported it as ‘a little’ (75.8 and 87.5%). There was a higher prevalence of urinary incontinence after forceps delivery (p<0.05) but not of greater impairment in quality of life (p>0.05). Personal and general health deteriorated postnatally (p<0.05). During pregnancy most women with urinary incontinence experience minimal impact on quality of life. Postnatally, other causes of morbidity may contribute to worsening of general and personal health.